The Latest: Witness describes chaotic tour bus crash scene

AP News
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Posted: Nov 13, 2015 9:03 PM
The Latest: Witness describes chaotic tour bus crash scene

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The latest on a double-decker tour bus that crashed in San Francisco's Union Square. (all times local):

5:49 p.m.

Witnesses describe a chaotic scene after a sightseeing bus smashed into cars and construction scaffolding in the heart of San Francisco's Union Square, leaving 20 people hurt — six of them critically.

Hoda Emam says she rounded a corner of Union Square on Friday afternoon to see ambulances and fire trucks everywhere. She says police were on top of the double-decker bus, apparently tending to the injured, and three or four people lay in the street.

Police and fire officials say the bus was speeding when it mowed down a bicyclist, hit several cars and then slammed into scaffolding at the site of an unfinished building. The scaffolding fell to the sidewalk.

The bicyclist is among six of the critically injured. They range from around 30 to 60 years old.

Calls and messages for the bus operator, City Sightseeing San Francisco, weren't immediately returned.

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5:45 p.m.

San Francisco's fire chief says 20 people have been injured, six critically, by a sightseeing bus that careened through crowded Union Square.

Chief Joanne Hayes-White says the most badly injured include a bicyclist who was mowed down by the speeding bus Friday afternoon. The critically injured have been taken to San Francisco General Hospital.

The double-decker, open-top bus slammed into several cars and hit scaffolding at the site of an unfinished building in the packed square. The scaffolding collapsed onto the sidewalk, but it's not clear whether any pedestrians were hurt.

The fire chief says it's too early to determine whether driver error, a mechanical problem or other issues caused the accident.

Calls and messages for the bus operator, City Sightseeing San Francisco, weren't immediately returned.

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5:10 p.m.

San Francisco fire chief now says 20 people were injured, 5 of them critically.

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4:40 p.m.

Police say a careening tour bus that smashed into a bicyclist, several cars and a construction site in tourist-packed Union Square has left 19 people hurt — 5 of them with life-threatening injuries.

Officer Albie Esparza says one of those fighting for life is the biker.

Police says the double-decker bus with open-top seating careened through the streets at high speed Friday afternoon before smashing into metal scaffolding at a building construction site in the heart of the square. The scaffolding collapsed onto the sidewalk.

Esparza says there are 5 people with life-threatening injuries and 3 with non-life threatening injuries. Another 11 people are said to be in stable condition.

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4:35 p.m.

Police say 19 people were hurt including five critically when an open-air tour bus crashed in San Francisco's Union Square.

Officials say there may have been as many as 30 people aboard the bus.

KRON-TV producer Shannon Adams says she saw the double-decker bus careening down the street at high speed before it hit several cars and smashed into scaffolding at a construction site.

Fire officials say power lines are down in the area.